Ahead of the ATP World Tour Finals, which will be played from 9 to 16 November, we come back on the season of each of the eight singles players who will take part in the Final Showdown, from number 8 to number 1.
8: Marin Cilic
A year of redemption
In 2013, Marin Cilic has lost four months to a ban for having tested positive to a banned substance, a lack of judgement on his part for having taken a product bought off the shelf in a drug store, but a substance that was taken off tournament and that players are allowed to use when not in competition. After receiving a nine-month ban, the Croatian appealed of the sanction and was able to prove that he was about innocent of the charges laid upon him, saw the CAS reduce his ban to four months and came back in Paris-Bercy, more motivated than ever to not only clear his name even more, but to put the events behind him, a motivation that has transpired on his game all through 2014.
A 2014 that was, in the end, a year of redemption for the Croatian.
After an average Australian tour, Cilic went on to win two titles in three weeks, in his hometown of Zagreb and in Delray Beach, the third being a final in Rotterdam. He also reached the quarter-finals in Barcelona and Wimbledon, and made the semifinals in Umag before having the dream of a lifetime come true at the U.S. Open, where his inspired play made him enter the selective group of the Grand Slam champions, a title he fully deserved.
The week after his New York championship, Cilic went on to play the heroes for his country in the decisive rubber of Croatia’s play-off tie against the Netherlands, won the Moscow tournament, but then had to withdraw from both Valencia and Paris-Bercy due to an arm injury.
If we only look at his ranking, Cilic should not be taking part in the World Tour Finals, regardless of the fact that he is fourth in the ATP Tour for the number of wins (54), and third for the number of titles this season (4). To this date, he remains at number 9 in the Race. However, in his quality of Grand Slam champion in 2014, he still managed to qualify, and he fully deserves to be one of the eight players to compete for the last title of the season.
With everything to gain in London, Marin Cilic is also assured of finishing the year in the top 10 for the first time in his career.
(Photos: Getty Images)